Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How to Save Money on Wedding Photography & Videography

One of the most important vendors you will hire for your wedding is your wedding photographer. He or she will capture all the special moments from getting ready with your bridesmaids to your ceremony formal portraits of your and your groom and your reception. While you don't want to skimp on your wedding photographer there are ways to save money on wedding photography. Here are a few cost-cutting ideas:

1. Instead of ordering a traditional wedding album, frame your favorite pictures and display them in your new home.

2. Don't spend money on disposable cameras for guests to use. Many of your guests will bring their own digital cameras and e-mail the images to you.

3. If you are thinking of hiring a videographer, limit the time they are at the wedding – maybe just the ceremony and beginning of the reception – 2 hours of coverage instead of 8.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Post-Wedding Brunch Idea

I was at an event this evening at Landmarc, a great restaurant at the Time Warner Center in New York City.  As I was chatting with the event manager he mentioned that a lot of couples host their pre-wedding parties at the space and then he mentioned an idea for the post-wedding brunch.

Why limit the time you have the morning after your wedding from 10-12 when most guests, as well as the bride and groom, maybe sleeping in late after your reception and after party, and possibly fighting a hangover.

Make your post-wedding brunch open house style and serve a breakfast/luncheon buffet so guests can come and go as they please and you will have a leisurely time visiting with them.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Shopping Online: What's the Return Policy?

Whether you're buying a wedding dress, jewelry, wedding invitations or wedding favors online it's important to know what the return policy is on the Web site you are shopping on.

Every company has a different policy, and don't assume that there's a money-back guarantee. Especially if what you're buying is personalized.

Before clicking "buy," check the site's return and exchange policies, and if you can't find them or don't understand them, find a phone number or e-mail address and try and get an answer from someone at the company. Keep track of what that person tells you, as well as their name and title, so if you have any problems making a return or exchange, you can tell the company what you were told and by whom.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bridal Beauty: A Trial is a Must

When planning your wedding day hair and makeup remember that you still want to look like yourself. If you have a stylist give you a makeover for your wedding day you may regret it when you look back at your wedding photos.

It's important to schedule a hair and makeup trial if you're hiring a stylist, or give yourself a trial if you're planning on doing your own hair and makeup, so you know what you want to look like on your wedding day.

Save photos of hair and makeup styles that you think you want and have the stylist recreate the looks at your trial. In addition to wedding beauty inspiration you should also bring a photo of your wedding dress and any headpiece or jewelry you will be wearing to make sure everything goes well together.

If you're unhappy with the trial results tell the stylist what you don't like and try something different.

Once you're happy with your hair and makeup take photos from every side and have the stylist write down the details of colors and techniques used so that on your wedding day there won't be any questions as to what your hair and makeup should look like.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wedding Dress Shopping: What to Keep in Mind

Before scheduling appointments at local bridal salons it's important to know the date, time and location of your wedding. All three will play a role in the style of the wedding dress you buy.

There are fabrics, embellishments and silhouettes that are better suited during certain times of year, day and at specific locations.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Don't Be Afraid to Ask Friends and Family to Help You with Wedding Details

Do you have a very talented group of friends and relatives? Don't be afraid to ask them to get involved in your wedding plans. Some may volunteer and offer their services as a wedding gift.

If you like what's being offered, go ahead and accept, but make sure you know exactly what you're getting and they know exactly what they're doing.

While you may not want to write a formal contract between friends, you want to know that they won't cancel at the last minute for a paying job or a conflict, leaving you without a key wedding element. Just to be safe, check in with them every now and then to confirm that they are still prepared to deliver the goods or services on your wedding day. And if you get the feeling that something's wrong, don't be afraid to ask if there's a problem and if necessary cancel on them and hire a professional or buy the items yourself.

Friday, January 14, 2011

5 Ways to Save Money on Wedding Music

Whether you're planning on hiring a band or DJ for your wedding, there are a number of ways you can save money:

  1. Hire musicians from a local music school.
  2. Find out if your church has a choir that can sing during your ceremony.
  3. Choose a band with fewer musicians. Some musicians play multiple instruments or sing and play an instrument.
  4. Set a firm time in the contract for the music to end so you don't incur overtime charges.
  5. Play canned music during the ceremony and cocktail hour.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Don't Forget to check Wedding Vendor Refrences

Don't be afraid to ask prospective wedding vendors for a list of references. He or she should be able to give you a list of past clients that you can e-mail or call to ask them about their experiences working with the vendor.

It's important to ask references about their experience with the vendor, what services they hired the vendor for and if they were happy with the experience.

You will be spending a lot of money and time with the wedding vendors you hire so it's very important that you do your homework and research the businesses you are meeting with.

In addition to speaking with past clients, you can also ask the vendor to give you references for other vendors they have worked with.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sharing the Cost of Wedding Decor

If more than one event is taking place at your wedding ceremony or wedding reception venue on the day of your wedding, maybe you can share the costs of the wedding decor.

Ask the location manager to put you in touch with the hosts of the other event and find out what decor they are planning. If your decor and theirs is similar, discuss options of sharing the costs of the flowers, lighting and other details.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Most Important Wedding Detail...Fun

I was at the doctor today and he asked me what I do so I told him I'm a weddings editor.  He then told me that the most important wedding detail is fun.

He said that the food and flowers are fine but if you don't have a great party people won't have fun and that's what people remember -- if they had fun at your wedding.

I completely agree.

And I'll take it one step further.  You should have fun while planning your wedding.  If you're not having fun then stop and take a break.  And at your wedding enjoy yourselves.  Let the little things go and enjoy every moment of what should be the happiest day of your life.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Glowing Skin: When to Start a Skincare Routine

Many beauty experts will suggest brides start a skincare regimen at least six months before the wedding to ensure that their skin is glowing on the big day. But there's another reason you want to try skincare and beauty treatments months before: to make sure that you don't have an adverse reaction to the treatment or products, and if you do you have time to recover from it.

If you're not sure where to begin, you can visit a dermatologist to talk about skin problems that may need medical attention or schedule an appointment with an aesthetician. Either will be able to discuss a treatment program for you.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Wedding Cakes and Alternative Dessert Options

Wedding cakes are the centerpiece of your wedding reception. They are usually on display -- in a prominent spot -- throughout the evening, but if there's another sweet you'd prefer to serve your wedding guests, a wedding cake is not your only option.

Cupcakes have become very popular over the past five years as the wedding cake alterative of choice, but you can also serve pies, cookies, donuts or another dessert favorite at the end of the night.

And serving an "untraditional" wedding dessert doesn't mean you have to forgo the wedding cake completely. Have your caterer or baker make a small three-tiered wedding cake for you to cut before the dessert course. It will make a great photo-op and instead of serving it at your reception you can have each tier frozen to enjoy on your wedding anniversary.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Getting Married in LA, Live in NY: Where to Buy Your Wedding Dress

A colleague who lives in New York but is getting married in Los Angeles asked me if she should buy her wedding dress in the city she lives in or the city she is getting married in.

She's going home in a few weeks and her mom has scheduled appointments at some local bridal salons and she scheduled appointments at several New York bridal salons.  In order to decide where she should buy her wedding dress she has to ask herself the following:

Will it be easier to have her fittings done in New York or is it possible that in the final three months before her wedding she can fly across the country at least 3 times to attend her dress fitting?

And if she does get her wedding dress in New York, how will she get it to Los Angeles for the wedding?  Should she take it on the plane or ship it?  And when she gets to California who can press it for her?

I told her that until she knows what type of dress she wants she really can't make a decision.  She might need multiple fittings which will be difficult if the dress is in California and if the dress is a bulky and ornate ball gown it may be to difficult to transport on a plane.

If you, have to transport your wedding dress either via a shipping service or on a plane make sure to tell the company that it is your wedding dress.  Flight attendants may be willing to make extra room if there's a seat or row of seats vacant on the flight.  And look into insurance for the dress, especially if you're shipping it.  9 times out of 10 your package will get to its destination on time but if it doesn't or arrives damaged you'll want to get your money back.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Get Yourself a Wedding Organizer, Planner or Binder

Whatever you call it -- a wedding organizer, wedding planner or wedding binder --- it's important that every bride has something that will help her stay organized throughout the wedding planning process.

Your wedding organizer is where you will keep all your important documents: contracts, vendor and bridal party contact information, wedding inspiration and receipts.

Whether you buy a wedding organizer or create your own, make sure it has easy to read section dividers so you can find what you're looking for, as well as pockets, sheet protectors or folders to store loose papers like tear sheets from bridal magazines, printouts from Web sites, contracts and receipts.

Take your wedding organizer with you when meeting with vendors to show them what your vision is and what you are planning with your other vendors. You will also want to have note paper with you to jot down what you discuss.

You may also want to add an "If found please return to" label in case you leave your wedding organizer somewhere.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Wedding Contracts & Cancellation Policies

When hiring any vendor for your wedding -- photographer, musicians, caterer, location, florist, etc. -- it's very important that you have a contract and that you read it carefully before signing on the dotted line.

You want to make sure that your wedding date and time are listed, as well as the services they are supplying and how much you are paying for them. You also want to read over the cancellation and refund policy.

Each contract should also state what should happen if you or the vendor cancels. You need to know if your deposit is refundable or if you're entitled to other monetary damages. If an emergency comes up, will the vendor find a suitable backup or replacement vendor to cover your wedding.

And what happens if you cancel? Is there a cancellation fee and how much is it?

Don't be afraid to ask the vendor questions about the contract, and have your parents or your groom's parents read it too. They may have more experience than you and your groom do, and may have questions neither of you might think to ask.


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